Skip to Main Content

The Peacock and the Sparrow

A Novel

Listen To An Excerpt

0:00 /

About The Book


A BEST BOOK OF THE YEAR: The New Yorker • NPR • The Diplomatic Courier Deadly Pleasures The Cipher Brief Spybrary

During the Arab Spring, an American spy’s final mission goes dangerously awry in this “crackling debut thriller” (The New Yorker) from a former CIA officer that Joseph Weisberg, creator of The Americans, calls “the most realistic espionage story I've read.”

Shane Collins, a world-weary CIA spy, is ready to come in from the cold. Stationed in Bahrain off the coast of Saudi Arabia for his final tour, he has little use for his mission—uncovering Iranian support for the insurgency against the monarchy. Then Collins meets Almaisa, a beautiful and enigmatic artist, and his eyes are opened to a side of Bahrain most expats never experience, to questions he never thought to ask.

When his trusted informant inside the opposition becomes embroiled in a murder, Collins finds himself drawn deep into the conflict. His budding romance with Almaisa—and his loyalties—are upended; in an instant, he’s caught in the crosswinds of a revolution. Drawing on all his skills as a spymaster, he sets out to learn the truth behind the Arab Spring, win Almaisa’s love, and uncover the murky border where Bahrain’s secrets end and America’s begin.

About The Author

Richard Berry

I.S. Berry spent six years as an operations officer for the CIA, serving in wartime Baghdad and elsewhere. She has lived and worked throughout Europe and the Middle East, including two years in Bahrain during the Arab Spring. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia School of Law and Haverford College. Raised in the suburbs of Washington, DC, she lives in Virginia with her husband and son.

About The Reader

Product Details

  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio (May 30, 2023)
  • Runtime: 11 hours and 36 minutes
  • ISBN13: 9781797155548

Browse Related Books

Raves and Reviews

"Simonelli's portrayal of Collins is steady and relaxed, pleasing to the ears. As narrator, he maintains the same pacing for detailed descriptions of locations, secondary characters, and tense scenes of violence."

– AudioFile Magazine

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images

More books from this reader: Pete Simonelli